In the past year COVID-19 wrought havoc in the lives of the people we serve. The legacy and continued oppression that communities of color experience as structural racism, has led to far higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death for people of color here in Oregon and across the country. These health inequities are further magnified as BIPOC individuals cannot get equitable access to the vaccine.
Virginia Garcia’s 2021 Health Care Symposium will reflect on this past year, critically examining COVID-19’s disproportionate consequences in vulnerable communities. As a health care provider during this pandemic, we witnessed the barriers our patients face daily – inequitable food access, lack of affordable housing, and anti-immigration policies to name a few. These barriers grew even larger illuminating an ever-widening chasm between the availability of services and access to them.
On Thursday, April 8, from 12-1pm, our outstanding panelists will tackle these topics at our virtual Health Care Symposium; The COVID Truth: Examining Racial, Social, and Health Injustice.
Carmen Rubio knows the power of centering community. In 2009, she was tapped as the executive director of Latino Network, a small organization for Portland's growing Latinx community. Over the next decade, she grew Latino Network’s team to 140 talented people who spent their time lifting up youth and families to achieve their potential and define their futures. Before that, Carmen worked for Multnomah County Commissioner Serena Cruz, Portland Mayor Tom Potter, and Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish. In these roles, Carmen dedicated herself to making local government accessible and responsive.
She brings this dedication to Portland’s Council. Carmen works to ensure that leaders and staff go outside City Hall to authentically listen and engage with everyone in our city. She is the commissioner in charge of Parks and Recreation, Arts and Culture, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and the Office of Community Technology.
Carmen was born and raised in Hillsboro, the granddaughter of immigrants who came as migrant workers. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and is the first Latinx member of Portland’s Council. She lives in NE Portland with her partner.
Mohamed Alyajouri is currently a healthcare administrator, managing one of Oregon Health and Sciences University’s (OHSU) Primary Care clinics. Mohamed serves on the leadership team of OHSU’s growing primary care team, which has expanded to Washington county over the past 5 years. With over 15 years in the Healthcare filed, mostly in Primary Care, his experience includes Program Development work for Oregon’s Community Health Centers, Project Management for Multnomah County Health dept. and other Quality Improvement work. Additionally, Mohamed has international experience working with the World Health Organization.
Mohamed has always had a passion for positive civic engagement and to better the community. For most of his adult life, his professional and community involvement has been around community building, social justice initiatives empowering BIPOC communities, interfaith outreach & partnerships and public health promotion.
Mohamed is a proud Oregonian, a Yemeni-American, and a first-generation Muslim immigrant. In 2017, Mohamed became the first and only Muslim-immigrant to be elected to any public office in Oregon. He was elected to the 7-member Portland Community College Board of Trustees. Additionally, Mohamed was appointed by Gov. Kate Brown to serve on the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OCAPIA).
Dr. Galvez is a board certified family physician at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center. She is a native Oregonian and the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Oregon State University and her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 2004.
She serves as the Board Chair for Migrant Clinicians Network, a non for profit national organization focused on health justice and on the board for Oregon Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Galvez is passionate about health equity. She regularly speaks on panels to educate the public around root causes of poor health and health disparities. During the COVID-19 pandemic she became a vocal advocate for mitigating health risks for Oregon’s seasonal farmworkers and she has addressed the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in the US House of Representatives. She has been featured in the NY Times, NPR’s Morning Edition, and PBS NewsHour. She was named the 2020 Alumni Fellow for the College of Science at Oregon State University for her leadership during the time of COVID-19.
Jesse Beason is Northwest Health Foundation’s President and Chief Executive Officer. He leads the Foundation in pursuit of its vision of health for everyone in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Before becoming President in January 2019, Jesse served as the foundation’s Vice President of Strategy & Public Affairs. He has also been Executive Director of Proud Ground and a Senior Policy Director for then-Commissioner Sam Adams. Jesse keeps saying yes to serving on boards – too many to list here. It’s a dangerous habit.
He moved from Denver, Colorado to Portland to attend Lewis & Clark College two decades ago. Jesse is a proud uncle, a semi-closeted sci-fi geek and a middling beekeeper.
Tickets for the event this year are free but be sure to let us know you will be joining us so we can keep you updated and provide you with everything you need to get logged in and ready to participate.
Thursday, April 8